The Friday Five!

1. Whew. That’s all I can say on this particular Friday. Oh, wait, I can also say this: THANK YOU SO MUCH! Because of all the support from you guys, the readers, THE MOON AND MORE will hit the New York Times Bestseller list at #3. HOORAY! The list is REALLY hard to make these days so it means even more than ever before that I got a spot there. My cup runneth over. Seriously. It just keeps hitting me as I’m walking around and I get all wobbly. Although that MAY be the fact that I am still totally sleep deprived. I finished up my events in San Francisco Monday night, left very early Tuesday morning and flew all day to get back in time to put my daughter to bed. Then it was right back into the routine the next day, with day camp drop-off and pickup and grocery shopping, before heading off to Cary for an event at the Barnes and Noble there. Then on Thursday I was running on fumes, trying to keep moving because I knew if I stopped at any moment I’d just fall asleep standing up wherever I was. And, um, that moment came this morning, at about 9:15 am, when I had a million things to do in my office but instead fell back into bed and slept for two hours. I’m planning for a repeat performance once my babysitter arrives this afternoon. But it’s working! I can see the dark circles subsiding, slowly, and I’m slightly less scary to look at. Ah, sleep. The original Miracle Drug.

2. Another lingering effect of being gone so much is that my daughter now refuses to let me out of her sight. She is, as my husband keeps saying, “A stage 5 clinger,” just like in Wedding Crashers. I literally had to peel her off of me to go to Cary the other night, and that was just for a couple of hours. Oh, the tears and trembling lower lip and those little hands locking around your waist! I know I just have to keep proving to her that I AM here and not going anywhere, at least for awhile. (In less than two weeks, I head to ALA in Chicago, but that’s for just two nights, which is NOTHING after all this other travel. Not that I am telling her this. Yet.) It’s like an ongoing trust exercise, proving that if I go to the bathroom I WILL, in fact, return momentarily. But until she is convinced, she’s coming with me. Just to be on the safe side. It’s a little crazy but I have friends with older kids who are dealing with indifference and eye-rolls most of the time who tell me I should soak it up. So I am.

3. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how great the last two weeks have been, though, aside from the homeside heartbreaks. THE MOON AND MORE got the best welcome ever, and I LOVED meeting so many amazing fans and readers across the country, from D.C. to Boise to California. Wow. I got so many letters, which I am carefully pouring over now, as well as cupcakes and necklaces and just the kindest words, ever. I was especially struck by Angelene, who did nail art of all the things I love: my book, my home state of NC, GMA, coffee and Colby Realty. So freaking cool:

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Did I mention I’m in awe of you guys? Well, I can’t say it enough. Whenever someone came through the line and told me that my books had some small part in getting them through high school, it was all I could do not to get choked up. Because I felt that way about reading, and music, back when I was that age. I was barely getting there, day after day, but I DID get there, with the help of some great characters whose creators I never got to thank personally. For all those people in the media out there who say teens these days do nothing but go on Instagram and play with their phones, you are WRONG. Girls are still reading, and reading a LOT. They’re out there. I saw it with my own eyes. And I am so, so grateful for that.

4. Speaking of writing, this week my editor Regina Hayes and I did this really cool piece for Slate.com about our joint process for seeing a book from draft to publication. We emailed back and forth all through Memorial Day weekend, just talking about all the books we’ve done together (seven in all!) and THE MOON AND MORE. I always say I have former editors the way other people have ex-boyfriends. Some left me, I left others, and with some it was mutual. But Regina is, and always has been, my Just Right. We have SO MUCH fun together and I admire her so much. It was really cool to think back on all those books and the work we put into them (although we had to wrack our brains a bit, seven is a lot!). I think these days, when self-publishing is such the rage, people can think maybe editors aren’t as crucial as they once were. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d be NOWHERE without someone to help me clean up and hone my messy first, second and even third drafts. It’s pivotal. Every single time.

5. As I said, I’m done with events for awhile. My next one is Wednesday, June 26th at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, followed by ALA. So it’s not a full stop right now as much as a pause, but a really nice one. I have never so looked forward to organizing drawers and busting out my labelmaker as I get settled back in and do some post-tour super decluttering. (There is something about being on book tour that makes you want to Make Changes In Your Life: not sure what it is, but happens each and every time.) All this travel, and new places and faces, was fun. But it is SO good to be home. As I said above, I feel like it’s all kind of one big blur of turkey wraps (which I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sometimes all three on the same day) and views from airport windows. Now I’m fixing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my kid, and watching my husband and Will, the guy he works with, stroll leisurely down the driveway with a pellet gun to take out a few of our thousand or so voracious squirrels. The garden is coming in like crazy, and we have enough eggs in the fridge for as many deviled ones as I chose to make. But I know once I’m rested up (someday) I’ll feel a bit wistful for everything I just did. Highs and lows, I guess. And other things….
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Have a great weekend, everyone!